Sports Pulse: USA TODAY Sports # Steve DiMeglio discusses the upcoming tournament and why it will pose many obstacles for golfers.
Following a top-five finish at the beginning of the month at Quicken Loans National, Tiger Woods is back on track this week, awaiting his first major championship victory since the US Open 2008.
The 14-time Major Champion plays this week at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland in the third golf tournament, the Open Championship. Tiger opened the game on Thursday with a straight par 71 and shot 2-over on the back nine after a 2-under 34 on the front.
Tiger last played The Open in 2015, missing the cut and finishing 137th. His career at Carnoustie includes a T47 at the Scottish Open in 1995, he missed the cut the following year and then finished T7 at the Open Championship and T12 at the 2007 Open.
Tiger hits at 5:20 ET alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Russell Knox from. Follow step by step analysis of his opening round.
Hole 11 – Par 4
Iron the tee here from Tiger and it's stuck in the fairway. His 8-iron approach will surely find the green within 20 feet for another extended view of Birdie.
Hole 10 – Par 4
Another miss with driver for Tiger ending in the thick rough to the right. He copes well with his approach and makes it from the rough into the green, but far from the cup. His putt slips with a massive pause in the direction of the cup and comes a few inches before falling. Great ride from TW, but it's another par. 1-over-10 (1-over for the tournament).
Ranking Update: Tommy Fleetwood fired a 6-under-65 on Friday to take an early share in the lead before Kevin Kisner pulled away, but here comes ZJ! Zach Johnson's 4-under-67 on Friday morning gives him clear lead at 6-under in the clubhouse.
Thoughts on the Turn
Tigers strategy yesterday was simple: iron out of that Tea, avoid problems, fire on pins if possible. With the wind and the rain of today, this strategy has been geared to avoiding mistakes. Tiger was 2 under 4 yesterday, but was 2 over 4 today. He was missing tea several times with a driver (and an iron) and was forced to climb to # 2 and 3 early after a few bogeys miscarriages. Then he seemed to find his rhythm a little before dropping another hit to no. 9. It's about making the cut and then taking a step on Saturday, which Tiger has seen several times this season. That being said, I would not be surprised if the elements continue to win the day.
Hole 9 – Par 4
Stinger time! Tigers iron from the T-shirt flies deep and long on the right side of the fairway. Not too shabby. He loses his approach to the right, just before the green in the fairway. His chip rolls within 10 feet, but misses the par-save. Tough Bogey falls back to 1-over on the day (1-over for the tournament)
Hole 8 – Par 3
Tiger cuts it through the wind and navigates perfectly through the green. The needle is guarded by bunkers and hidden towards the back of the green, and Tiger Ball lands the cup for another birdie chance. His birdie-putt was close, but missed the cup by only a few inches and dropped another tap-in-par. Not bad, but definitely a missed opportunity after a great tee to get some swing before it gets in the back. Up to 8 (Also for the tournament)
Hole 7 – Par 4
Tiger goes back on an iron from the tea, but also loses it. He's walking in the thick rough at just over 200 yards, and his second shot comes just off the green and leaves a small folding wedge nestling within a few feet of the cup. He is typing for a great par-save to stay even to 7 (Also for the tournament)
Hole 6 – Par 5
Another driver for Tiger, and this one goes right in raw state. His second hit from the rough is solid, he finds the fairway and leaves a wedge in the green. Tigers ball landed in a divot, and he played it safe and found the green, but well under the hole. Not much happens here, normal two putt par from a distance. Up to 6 (Also for the tournament)
Hole 5 – Par 4
Tigers tee shot is solid, right in the middle of the fairway, but not as far as his playing partner. From 183 meters away and the wind in his back, he throws an 8-iron in the wind and finds the green. He's under the hole with another look at Birdie. It's on! Tiger gives this a litter and he even drops par on day 5 for his second birdie in a row (even for the tournament).
Hole 4 – Par 4
Since the ground is not nearly as dry, Tiger seems to be at a distance and the driver again to move up to fourth place. His one is torn down the fairway, and judging by the club swirl, he likes it. Tiger drops his approach shot within 15 feet of the cup and twists it a bit to bring the ball back to the hole and take a solid look at a much needed early birdie. This was a bit more direct than Tiger expected, but it falls on Birdie. 1-over-4 (1-over for the tournament).
Hole 3 – Par 4
After a tough attack on number 2, Tigers iron from the tea finds the left fairway on a small hill. Useful recording here. His approach is good, not great, he finds the green about 20 to 30 feet from the hole. He left a handful of birdie putts short yesterday, but did not make the same mistake. Tiger gave this a ride, but rolls 5 feet to the cup. Oh no, this one is missing on the left, about one turn of the ball before dropping for par. That's another bogey. Ouch. 2-over-through 3 (2-over for the tournament)
Hole 2 – Par 4
Whoa, driver here for Tiger in 2nd place. After remaining conservative almost all day yesterday, goes he on this but finds the right rough. His second shot was not nice. He barely gets out of the rough and hits it maybe 100 yards forward and into the crowd. He drops his approach to the center of the green, and his par putt never came back from right, leaving a clay pigeon bogey. 1-over-2 (1-over for the tournament). Hey, um, guys, maybe you wanna go back a bit more #TheOpen pic.twitter. com / b28vEndIuB
– Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 20, 2018